Schumer and McConnell say Senate will Take Up Immigration and National Security Package in the New Year

Schumer and McConnell say Senate will Take Up Immigration and National Security Package in the New Year

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CNN — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a joint statement Tuesday acknowledging that senators will not reach a deal on immigration this week, pushing negotiations over the larger national security package with aid for Ukraine and Israel to early next year.

“Challenging issues remain, but we are committed to addressing needs at the southern border and to helping allies and partners confront serious threats in Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. The Senate will not let these national security challenges go unanswered,” the New York Democrat and Kentucky Republican said.

Schumer also said Tuesday evening that there will be no more floor votes this year, setting up a hugely consequential January. Negotiations over the package – introduced in October – remain stalled after weeks of back-and-forth between Democrats offering tightened immigration policy in return for Republican support for billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and Israel.

“As negotiators work through remaining issues, it is our hope that their efforts will allow the Senate to take swift action on the national security supplemental early in the new year,” Schumer and McConnell said in their statement.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the top Republican at the negotiating table for border talks, said it will take “weeks” to reach a deal.

“I have worked to finalize a border security proposal that will stop the massive flow of illegal immigration into our nation. In the past few days, significant progress has been made, but there is still no final agreement, much less legislative text,” Lankford said in a statement.

He added, “It is clear there are multiple unresolved issues that will take weeks to resolve rather than hours. It is better to get this done right rather than fast.”

The White House warned this week that an aid package scheduled for Ukraine later this month will be the country’s last this year without a deal from Congress, even after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with congressional leaders last week in an effort to make his case directly to lawmakers.

Biden has said he is open to compromise with Republicans on border security, risking a move that could upset progressives he needs to turn out for him in next year’s election.

After Senate leadership announced negotiations would continue next year, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado released his hold on a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing senators to pass it unanimously Tuesday evening. Bennet has placed several holds on must-pass legislation this year to demand that the Senate vote on more aid to Ukraine.

Schumer announced that Wednesday would be the last day the Senate is in session for the year.

“We are going to be in session tomorrow to do housekeeping business, but there are no more votes scheduled until January,” he said as he wrapped up on the floor on Tuesday night.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Donald Judd,  Natasha Bertrand, Michael Williams and Priscilla AlvarezCamila DeChalus contributed to this report.

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